Paying Tribute to... 5

Our Inaugural ‘Women of Influence’

THE QUESTION ISN’T WHO’S GOING TO LET ME; IT’S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME.”– AYN RAND

In February, we featured in this magazine our inaugural cohort of Cleveland County Women of Influence. The 12 women represent the arts, business, education, nonprofits, mental health care, the media, civic affairs and beyond.

In addition to serving as leaders in their respective professions, the honorees showed a remarkable commitment to giving back to their community. Most of the women serve on multiple boards and councils with missions ranging from feeding the hungry to training future leaders. Many serve as mentors as well.

One of the questions posed by Cleveland County Lifestyle publisher Jimmy Darden and I as we were discussing launching this effort was, “What do we mean by ‘influential’”? After some discussion, we agreed the term implies peers’ perception of their effectiveness as leaders in their profession (determined through nomination letters) and their involvement in the larger community (as shown on their resumes).

One common thread we found woven throughout the nomination letters and resumes was a sense of determination (much like that voiced by novelist Ayn Rand in the accompanying quote), to not only succeed in their professions, but to help others succeed as well. So, going forward, those are the qualities we will be looking for going forward, with the help of the 2017 Women of Influence honorees, as we have decided to make this recognition an annual endeavor.